A contractor hired to remove a dock that beached on the Washington Coast in December 2012 hopes to complete the job by the end of the month.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration selected The Undersea Company from Port Townsend to lead the removal.
The dock is located on a remote shore with the boundaries of the Olympic National Park and NOAA's Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary.
The dock weighs approximately 185 tons and is 65 feed long, 20 feet wide, and 7.5 feet tall. Most of the dock is made of a Styro-foam type material encased in steel-reinforced concrete.
Although the dock has stayed in the same general location since its arrival on the beach, there is potential for changing tides and waves to move the dock and batter the coastline, said Carol Bernthal, sanctuary superintendent.
By removing the dock, we hope to minimize damage to the coastline and marine habitat, Bernthal added.
The Undersea Company will work with the sanctuary, national park, and local partners to remove the dock by dismantling it on the beach and removing the pieces by helicopter. The timetable for removing the dock is dependent on weather and tidal conditions.
It is possible the dock is no longer seaworthy, so this method is considered the safest and most efficient.
Most of the cost of the removal, approximately $478,000, will come from funds provided to NOAA by the government of Japan. The rest of the removal will be paid for by the NOAA's Office of National Marine Sanctuaries ($75,000) and the national park ($75,000).
In January, officials removed the majority of organisms on the dock to prevent invasive species from establishing in the area. Over 500 pounds of organisms were scraped off of the dock and placed in a safe location to decompose.
The government of Japan confirmed the dock was lost during the March 2011 tsunami in Japan, based on a serial number.